Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad


We used to have neighbors across the street that owned a restaurant.  The wife baked all of the desserts that they sold there in her spare time, even though she had a full time busy job!  After they moved out of the neighborhood, their daughter continued to stop by every few months with stacks of recipes that her mother wanted to share with my mother.  My mom ended up with so many recipes that she could never have tried them all in several lifetimes.  Eventually, she pared down her piles and only kept the ones that she would make.  The idea for this recipe comes from those old neighbors.  She made a big batch of a variation of this recipe one day and brought it over for us to try.  I've thought about it over the years, but haven't gotten around to making it until just now.

1 box Penne Pasta
1 head Romaine Lettuce
1/2-1 pint Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
2 Chicken Breasts, grilled and chopped (I used the white meat of a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 bottle Creamy Caesar Dressing
Handful of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Croutons (optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and run under cold water.  Meanwhile, cut the romaine into bite-sized pieces and put into a large bowl.  Add the pasta, tomatoes, and chicken.  Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese.  Serve and garnish with croutons, if desired.  I would put the croutons on each individual serving so that in the event of having leftovers, they don't become soggy!